Keeping the Big Picture in Mind When Sh*t Gets Crazy

Photo by  Estée Janssens

In life, there are seasons of doing, and seasons of planning and reflection. 

I personally love taking action. I find few things more painful than days that drag on and don’t seem to have much purpose to them. I like to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day (even if, every now and then, that sense of accomplishment comes from some much-needed rest and relaxation). 

Right now, I am in a season of doing. Each day starts with a bang, passes in a whirlwind, and ends with me collapsing into bed, trying to prop my eyes open so I can read for a little while. This isn’t a bad thing—in fact, in most ways, it’s very good. The problem comes when I start go-go-going on auto-pilot and lose my greater sense of purpose. In all of the action, I start to move from one task to the next, forgetting the big picture, getting caught up in the whirlwind, and losing sight of why I’m doing what I’m doing. 

To keep myself on track, I recently created a list of goals. I started at five years out, and then set one goal per year between now and then, with each one assigned a specific date. 

This absolutely is not rocket science, but, so far it has fulfilled two primary purposes:

  1. When I’ve set long term goals in the past, they’ve either felt overwhelming or intangible, because I haven’t set a path to get me there step by step. My five-year goal felt like this at first, then, once I realized what I had to accomplish one year at a time before then—totally do-able. 
  2. When I have those moments when I feel buried and wonder, “WTF am I doing?” I just think about both my five-year and one-year goal. Every time I've done this so far, I've realized, “Oh, I’m totally on track. I’m just doing the manual labor of sowing the seeds right now.” This infuses even the nitty-gritty details of daily life with purpose and meaning. 

However you go about doing it, here's to making moments count!